Writings and observations

First take: Genetic foods

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GENETIC FOODS BILL It’ll be a little hard, in the end, to stop a bill that proposes to inform consumers about the food they eat. That’s the core of the bill to require notification about food products that have been genetically altered, and it may turn into a big issue at the Oregon Legislature – which might become the first in the nation to require such labeling. There is the point that genetic-based modifications in foods go back thousands of years; but the new laboratory-based modifications are (most people probably understand) a new kind of creature. The political fault lines, if they develop, could be fascinating.

PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX How many ways can you slice a tax proposal? Quite a few, as the increasingly complex debate over the Idaho personal property tax shows. The center of gravity seems to be toward a partial shift, cutting the tax on low-end items (which would eliminated a lot of paper work), but the battle rages.

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